Probate & Estate Administration
At Timbrell Law Solicitors, we offer a range of probate and estate administration services. It doesn’t matter how large the estate or whether the deceased left a Will, our experienced probate specialists can help. Our primary focus is to make your life easier.
That is why we offer free initial consultations to help you work out the level of support you need, fixed fee quotations for probate and regular updates. With our 1:1 support, you can move forward with administering the estate with as little disruption and stress as possible. There are no upfront costs as our Probate and Estate administration fees are deferred and will be taken from the estate once it is in funds.
Find out more about our Probate Application Service and Complete Estate Administration Service below.
Quick Probate Questions?
What is the Probate?
Probate is the process of obtaining a Grant of Probate on death. It involves valuing the deceased's estate, paying any Inheritance Tax and applying to Court for the Grant.
What is a Grant of Probate?
The Grant is a Court Order which confirms who has the authority to deal with the deceased’s assets. If there is no Will, it is called a Grant of Representation.
Why is Probate important?
The Grant is the proof you will need to access the deceased's assets. It will allow you to close accounts as well as transfer and sell property, shares and other assets.
When will I need a Grant?
The need for a Grant depends on the types of assets owned by the deceased and who inherits them. We can help you work out if Probate is necessary.
How much does Probate cost?
Our Fixed Fee Probate Application Service starts from £595, plus Court fees. If the estate is more complex, we can discuss this with you and provide a fixed upfront quote.
Who can apply for Probate?
If you are named in the Will as an executor you can apply for the Grant. If there is no Will, it is commonly the deceased's spouse, civil partner or children who apply.
We know that obtaining the Grant of Probate can be complicated. You will need to understand the legal terminology used, who inherits the estate, the inheritance tax position and submit the correct probate and tax paperwork.
Our Fixed Fee Probate Application Service starts from £595, plus the Probate Court fee. To find out more, feel free to contact one of our probate specialists. We can provide guidance on the probate process, whether probate is likely to be required and how we might help.
- 1:1 Support from a regulated and experienced Probate Solicitor
- Preparing the Probate Application
- Completing the Inheritance Tax Forms and claiming all the available exemptions and reliefs
- Guidance on the signing procedure
- Submitting the papers to the Court
- Sending you the Sealed Grant in the post
Getting Additional Support
Once the Grant is issued, you can move forward with dealing with the assets and distributing them to the beneficiaries yourself. If you think you might need additional support, our Complete Estate Administration Process may be a better fit.
- Checking the validity of any Will in existence. Where there is no Will, applying the Intestacy Rules to identify who should administer the estate, who inherits the assets and what they will receive.
- Verifying and valuing estate assets based in England and Wales.
- Placing statutory adverts to determine whether there are any claims from creditors or unknown beneficiaries against the estate.
- Preparing the Probate Application to obtain the Grant.
- Completing the appropriate Inheritance Tax Forms, including claiming any relevant exemptions and arranging for direct payment from the deceased’s bank (where possible)
- Collecting in the estate assets or their sale value. If the sale of property is required, we can appoint an estate agent to market the property and instruct a specialist Conveyancer to deal with the sale.
- Paying any debts and liabilities from the estate.
- Calculating and paying any Income and Capital Gains Tax from the estate.
- Securing the accurate distribution of the estate. This might include transferring jointly held assets into the name of the survivor, transferring assets to beneficiaries (such as shares or property) or paying out cash distributions.
- Preparing the final estate accounts.
Unlike other providers, our fees are not calculated as a fixed percentage of the estate. Instead, we can either offer Fixed Fee quotations or estimates based on the Hourly Rates of the fee earners involved in your matter and the time spent carrying out your instructions. At Timbrell Law, we only have qualified probate solicitors working on your matter.
Timbrell Law Solicitors are experts in Probate & Estate Administration. If you would like any further assistance, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We offer free initial consultations for all matters to help you decide how to proceed. We are available on 01242 420744, or you can use our contact form to arrange a free callback at a time to suit you.
Frequently Asked Questions - Probate & Estate Administration
Personal Representatives are the individuals who are legally responsible for dealing with the administration of the deceased’s estate. The term Personal Representative covers both executors and administrators.
In terms of their duties, there is no difference between an executor and an administrator. The difference lies in how they became responsible for managing the estate.
Executors are the people the deceased chose under his Will to deal with the estate administration. Administrators are the individuals who take responsibility for obtaining the Grant when there is no Will.
Personal representatives are under a duty to ensure that the estate is administered and distributed correctly.
This includes obtaining Probate, collecting in the estate assets, paying off any debts, funeral and administration expenses and any tax due and distributing what remains to those entitled either under the deceased’s Will or the rules of intestacy.
As a personal representative, you will need to understand the terms of the Will or how the intestacy rules apply to the estate. You will also need to be confident that you understand the extent of your powers, i.e. what you can and cannot do. Where there is no Will, you will need to rely on the powers set out in case law and Acts of Parliament. Without professional assistance, this information can be difficult to find.
Debts incurred by the deceased can normally only be enforced against assets within their estate, unless a third party guarantee or other form of third party security has been given.
That said, if a Personal Representative fails to pay a unknown creditor or a beneficiary, they are at risk of being held personally liable to that person. Being unfamiliar with the estate administration process is not a valid excuse for non-compliance.
If you are worried about personal liability, you can seek support from a professional. There are ways of mitigating your risk of personal liability.
Just because you are named as an executor does not mean you have to act. One option is to renounce the appointment entirely, which means giving up any right to act as an executor in the estate now or in the future. You can only do this if you have not taken any steps to administer the estate already.
If there are other executors who are willing to act, you can choose instead to have “power reserved to you” on the Grant of Probate. This allows the other executors to move forward with administering the estate, but gives you the flexibility to later join the process if necessary.
If you wish to renounce the appointment or have power reserved to you, you may need independent legal advice.
Deciding whether to take on an estate administration yourself or seek professional support can be a difficult decision.
We recommend always seeking advice is any of the following apply:
- The original Will is lost or the terms are unclear.
- There is no Will and you are unclear of how the rules of intestacy apply.
- You suspect there is a problem with the Will, i.e. there are missing pages or it is not signed correctly or witnessed.
- The Will or rules of intestacy create a trust.
- The beneficiaries include children who are under the age of 18.
- There is inheritance tax to pay.
- The deceased had an interest in a business, agricultural land or owned foreign property or assets.
- The deceased did not live in the UK.
We pride ourselves on the fact that our Complete Estate Administration service can:
1 – Save you time
Hiring Timbrell Law means that you will have someone who can dedicate the time needed to finalise the estate rather than DIY probate fitting around your busy schedule. The average estate administration takes between 9 to 12 months to complete.
2 – Give you peace of mind
We know the law, are familiar with the administration process and have experience dealing with complex estate issues. We will be able to foresee and deal with any issues that arise quickly and provide you with the reassurance you need to know that you are fulfilling your duties.
3 – Reduce stress
Placing the day-to-day estate administration in the hands of a professional means that you do not have to worry about chasing or organising third parties. Similarly, we provide regular updates to discuss the next steps and actions as they happen, so you don’t have to chase us.
4 – Help you avoid costly mistakes and personal liability
Hiring a solicitor reduces the risk of personal liability as your case will be handled by an experienced solicitor who is regulated and insured.
Still Looking For More Information?
If you need more information on Probate to decide on how to best proceed, then why not read some of our Probate and Estate Administration blog posts for additional helpful insights.